Cape Town - Hugo Lloris will come up against his childhood idol Gianluigi Buffon when Tottenham face Juventus in a friendly on Saturday.
Now 39, the Italian legend has been around long enough to have
inspired the 30-year-old France international back when he was coming of
age at OGC Nice.
"There is something special and it's difficult to describe it, but he's a player who can inspire those around him," Lloris said.
"Juventus have had so many legendary players and there is still one
there in Gianluigi Buffon. When I was younger I was completely a fan.
"He's the kind of player who can inspire you and when I was 15, 16,
that kind of player and Iker Casillas as well, they both started so
young and that was an inspiration for me. I wanted to start young as
well and that's what I did.
"After 16 seasons [with Juventus] he shows he has the same ambition
and motivation as in the past. To stay at the top at that age means you
have to work harder than others and that's why he's the best. In terms
of longevity, it's amazing what he's done."
Meanwhile the French international has admitted his frustration by their lack of progress in Europe but says the club
will be better prepared for the Champions League this year after going out in
the group stage last season.
Lloris made it to the semis of Europe's top club competition
with Olympique Lyonnais in 2010 but his best European run with Spurs has been
to the quarters of the Europa League in 2013.
The 30-year-old France international, who joined Spurs in
2012, said the squad under manager Mauricio Pochettino should be doing much
better in Europe.